No longer being looked at as a startup, Tesla is beginning to see some real heat as major European automakers begin to focus on electric vehicles.
Since going mainstream with the Model S, Tesla has seen growing competition for its electric vehicles, but that should intensify even more with a number of European automakers announcing upcoming EV plans. And with China’s recent announcement of a possible ban on gasoline-powered vehicles, this market is expected to grow rapidly.
Like many other luxury automakers, Mercedes-Benz has increased its offering of hybrids and plug-in hybrids recently, while its totally electric vehicles (like the B250e and Smart Fortwo Electric Drive) are still low-production models. The Concept EQ is a promising new EV that should help Mercedes take on the Tesla Model X.
Volkswagen already offers its all-electric e-Golf, but its EV development should progress even further in coming years with the promise of the ID Crozz (an electric crossover), ID Buzz (an electric van with a retro look) and ID Concept (a hatchback EV expected to undercut the Tesla Model 3’s price by about $8,000). Even though all of these electric vehicles are still in the concept stage, Volkswagen has promised that the ID Buzz will go into production by 2022.
Earlier this year, Volvo announced that it plans to offer some sort of electrification on all of its cars starting in 2019. While this will inevitably begin as hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, this move will put Volvo in a promising position to develop zero-emission electric vehicles.
The BMW i3 and BMW i8 are two totally different takes on electric vehicles for BMW, and the automaker is expected to launch electric versions of current cars like the 3 Series and X3 crossover. There are also rumors that BMW’s all-electric i brand could grow with the introduction of a new model – potentially a sedan based on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept – called the i5.